AUGUSTA — Michael J. Gagne, formerly of Augusta and most recently of Lyman, pleaded guilty Wednesday to burglarizing more than a dozen small businesses in early spring 2015 in the Augusta area, some of them twice.

The prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Paul Cavanaugh, said Gagne stole an estimated $13,000 in items and cash.

Gagne, now 40, whose last address was Lyman, admitted to 14 burglaries, when Justice Michaela Murphy asked him about each of them. The hearing took place at the Capital Judicial Center.

The victims included The Red Barn Restaurant, Capilo School of Hair Design, Denny’s Restaurant, Sam’s Italian Food and Twins County Store, all in Augusta; Christy’s Country Store (twice) and Sunset Grille, Belgrade; Brews N’ Views, Hallowell; Fast Eddie’s Drive-In, Winthrop; TJ’s Pizzeria and Phil’s Super Variety in Monmouth; and College Avenue Quick Stop, Waterville.

In exchange for Gagne’s guilty pleas, the state dismissed 11 other charges of theft and burglary from the same indictment.

The state wants a seven-year sentence for Gagne, and the defense does not object, largely because Gagne is facing an armed robbery indictment in York County and the sentence there is likely to be “significant,” said Lisa Whittier, the attorney representing him on the Kennebec County charges.

Whittier told Murphy that Gagne also faces a class B burglary charge in Cumberland County.

Gagne, who was dressed in a bright orange two-piece York County jail uniform, told the judge he understood what was happening Wednesday. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 18, 2018.

Cavanaugh said the state would not recommend restitution because Gagne had no ability to pay. However, he said store owners would be contacted and could ask for restitution.

He said that during the series of burglaries, various alarms were triggered and police arrived to find doors broken and windows cut. He said Gagne was identified as the suspect after police viewed video surveillance footage, and that some of the items stolen were found in Gagne’s apartment when police searched it.

Cavanaugh said police interviewed people who said they dropped Gagne at nearby locations and waited for him to return, but they didn’t know what he had been doing.

Gagne, who previously was imprisoned in the Maine Correctional Center, in Windham, also was found incompetent to stand trial at one point in the multiple-burglary case and ordered sent to Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center for restoration of competence.

Later, attorneys stipulated that he was competent to proceed.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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